The sad and happy path to the Leica SL

The path to this camera was just too long and insanely expensive. I usually care about things like geometry, symmetry, dynamic range, and technology in a camera. It has to be a tool that helps me show you, what is that weird thing I saw on the street and decided to share. Leica SL just came out. It was a perfect camera, but not for me. So I thought. When it came out I decided to buy Leica MM246. Marvelous camera, the Monochrom. Back then MM246 was justified as being cheaper and smaller. Of course, I've lost money when I decided to sell it later, but I feel like I've learned a lot working in black and white.

Next came Fuji X-Pro2. Why does one need an expensive Leica when one can buy Fuji, that is cheaper, lighter, is a rangefinder and has auto-focus weather sealed lenses? It's everything M240 supposed to be, except it is not a Leica. Fortunately, I returned it back to the store and only lost a bit on shipping charges. Don't get me wrong, Fuji is the best camera you can dream of if you want to buy a camera with APC-S sized sensor. Frankly, there is no objective reason I prefer full frame to APC-S, I just do and there is no explanation that I can think off. I don't normally do insanely shallow depth of field with a f/0.95 Noctilux. If I wanted that could probably get into medium format. Anyway, X-Pro2 produced amazing images. It was very light. It had a great hybrid viewfinder/rangefinder. It just felt wrong on a subjective level. At this point, I decided to stop and live a bit with no camera at all. 

Next thing I remember is looking at one of the large prints in our bedroom and thinking - "I kind of enjoyed this and was not so bad at it either". This time, I decided to get something pure to isolate myself from the camera features and become a true photographer. "No chimping", they say. This is how I bought Leica M-D. It's a full frame rangefinder by Leica with no screen. You can't even format an SD card with this camera. The feeling of shooting with M-D was amazing. It was liberating and refreshing. This camera allowed me to focus on the subject and on the environment.

I spend another 20 days with it and realized that a rangefinder with no screen just does not work. I mean, look at my pictures. If I don't embrace geometry and symmetry then I don't know what do I embrace. And to tell you the truth symmetry and rangefinder are two words you won't find in the same sentence, except this one. I also like wide lenses. Shooting 21mm on M-D was no fun. Focus through the rangefinder - check! Frame through external viewfinder - check! Press the shutter and see if looks good - check, but only once you get home. If I were a street or portrait photographer, that is not a paid photographer, but someone who would do street or portraits for fun, I would definitely keep the camera. I still shoot just for fun, but people is not really my thing ... except my wife, of course.

The sad part was that I had scratched the camera's body a bit and was not able to return it and get the full refund. It's the MM246 story all over again. My wife fully supported me, but deep inside I think the face above tells it all. I know I should have bought the SL long time as my first camera and just cross this one out of the list - "Need to buy the best camera in the world". So I did. Leica SL is the best camera in the world - at least in my world.